Hesse, Local 789
651-451-6240 or 651-216-3827
Launches Fair Share Health Care Act
Paul, MN- Local 789 United Food & Commercial Workers Union
is gathering support at the MN State Legislature for a bill that
would require employers of more than 10,000 workers to provide
healthcare. The bill will be modeled after the "Maryland
model" that was passed on Thursday this week. Under the Maryland
law, employers with 10,000 or more workers in the state must spend
at least 8 percent of their payrolls on health insurance, or pay
the difference into a state administered healthcare fund.
should be a right, not a privilege, and by introducing this bill
we should be able to expand healthcare to many more workers",
said Jenny Shegos an organizer from Local 789 who will be working
on the legislation.
UFCW will be building a broad base coalition for the legislation
and the hope is to move it along at both houses as early as possible
in the session.
UFCW represents over 7500 workers in Retail, Food Processing and
Long term care.
Wal-Mart Back to School."
Christensen, Secretary Treasurer UFCW Local 789
For too long,
Wal-Mart has failed our communities, our families and our children.
A nationwide campaign endorsed by the Teachers' Unions, the UFCW,
the AFL-CIO and the people from WakeUpWalMart.com, is asking all
of us to "SEND WAL-MART BACK TO SCHOOL!" This month-long
campaign is about "teaching Wal-Mart a lesson" in Corporate
Responsibility. It is about making sure that Wal-Mart reflects
the best of not only America's values but of Minnesota's values,
too. You know the ones I am talking about; paying a living wage,
providing affordable health care, stopping taxpayer abuse, and
ending the exploitation of our children.
When the "test
scores" come in, the facts are clear; Wal-Mart has failed
us again and again.
failed the Workers
" Wal-Mart pays workers too little to keep families out of
" Fewer than half of Wal-Mart's workers are covered by the
company's healthcare plan because they are either ineligible or
the plan is unaffordable.
failed the tax payers
" Wal-Mart costs the American taxpayer up to $2.5 billion
per year in taxpayer funded public health care and public assistance
" Wal-Mart's abuse of the system is jeopardizing vital programs
and services intended for our children and needy families.
" Wal-Mart is facing the largest gender discrimination lawsuit
in history, effecting more than 1.6 Million female employees.
worst of all
Wal-Mart has failed our children.
" An audit in the year 2000 detailed 1,371 violations of
child-labor laws, including minors working too late, working too
many hours in a day or working during school hours. On more than
60,000 occasions, workers of all ages including children, missed
breaks and on 16,000 they were forced to skip meal times.
" In February of this year, Wal-Mart agreed to pay a $135,540
to settle federal charges that it broke child-labor laws.
" Then in June, three more Wal-Mart stores were fined for
child-labor law violations.
" Aside from being illegal, Wal-Mart's behavior sets a dangerous
example that affects our nation and influences every other company
in America. Wal-Mart, directly or indirectly, is setting a dangerous
and immoral standard that our children can be used and exploited
be no doubt that Wal-Mart has failed to make the grade and needs
to go "Back to School."
Wal-Mart Back-to-school" campaign has three goals:
First, we want Americans to know that Wal-Mart has failed this
" We believe the people in Minnesota and in every other state
that has a Wal-Mart store deserve to know how Wal-Mart has failed
all of us again and again.
want to change Wal-Mart.
" Wal-Mart must adopt a clear policy to ensure that they
will no longer break child labor laws - not now and not ever.
are asking the people of Minnesota to sign the "Send Wal-Mart
Back to School" pledge
" We are asking you not to buy your back-to-school supplies
at Wal-Mart this year.
" Local 789 will be knocking on doors in the Midway and West
St. Paul areas, asking people to sign the pledge.
" We will be at the Minnesota State Fair talking to millions
of Minnesotans and out-of-state visitors, asking them to pledge
not to buy their school supplies from Wal-Mart; and
" We are asking you are members to sign the Pledge.
can all make a difference. When the teachers and parents and students
and workers of Minnesota join together with the millions of teachers
and parents and students workers across the nation, we will have
the power to change Wal-Mart.
Let us all
be an example for the rest of the country.
Pledge to refuse to buy your back to school supplies at Wal-Mart
until they company changes its ways and earns a "passing
grade" in Corporate Responsibility.
take the pledge. Sign the pledge card and return it to the Union.
America's Campaign to change Wal-Mart
Kick Off Event: Wake Up Wal-Mart Back to School Campaign
Local 789, numerous other organizations
August 23rd at 3:30 p.m.
In front of the Wal-Mart in Midway on University Ave.
Why: We recognize
that Back to School shopping generates billions of dollars in
sales, 2nd in line only to holiday shopping. This kick off event
is a great opportunity to get the word out to shoppers that by
purchasing new school clothes and supplies for their children
at Wal-Mart, they are also supporting a company that has failed
to score good marks as an employer and community neighbor).
Prior to the
event we will be doing outreach in the Midway community, talking
to neighbors about the impact of Big Boxes like Wal-Mart and identifying
leaders that want to get involved in the broader campaign. For
the next two weeks we will be door knocking the community around
Wal-Mart on University, urging folks to sign pledges to not shop
at Wal-Mart (show form and explain). People will be making a commitment
to attend the rally and invite their family, friends and neighbors.
The kick off
itself will consist of a brief press conference, followed by a
canvass in front of Wal-Mart, encouraging folks to sign pledges
and shop elsewhere.
What our goal
is: to create awareness in the community about Wal-Mart's practices,
urging folks to shop at businesses that provide decent wages,
benefits and that strive to uplift the community. Like John said,
"people are doing bad, and don't even know it." Our
aim is to convince retail workers and those in the community that
they are being had, and do deserve more. Wal-Mart isn't going
to turn a new leaf overnight
we recognize that. But by hosting
events like this
will make ethical decisions as consumers. This will defiantly
send a message to Wal-Mart and other Big Boxes.
For more information/
or to get involved contact the UFCW Local 789 or log onto www.wakeupwalmart.com
Bernie Hesse or Jenny Shegos at:
March 14, 2005
UFCW AND COMMUNITY
MEMBERS STAGE MOCK BAKE SALE TO DEMAND ADEQUATE BENEFITS FOR ALL
Action to Highlight Wal-Mart's Role in Putting Thousands of Employees
on State Supported Health Care
Paul- On Monday, March 14th from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. United Food
and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 789 will join together with
community members and supportive organizations to expose Wal-Mart's
refusal to pay their employees adequate health care benefits.
The group is staging a mock back sale to illustrate the community
cost Wal-Mart imposes by forcing taxpayers to subsidize the cost
of living for their workers.
is the first of many events that the UFCW will be hosting in West
Saint Paul to inform workers and community members on the real
cost of having a Wal-Mart in the neighborhood. Wal-Mart is the
largest employer in 25 states and therefore sets the standards
for wage and labor practices. With 1.5 million workers all over
the world, Wal-Mart pays their employees on average 20 percent
less than workers in locally unionized shops such as Rainbow and
Cub. More substandard employment practices include:
Wal-Mart workers do not make above the Federal Poverty line.
>Over the last few years, over 100 unfair labor practices have
been lodged against Wal-Mart, the majority of which involve firing
workers who attempt to organize.
>Wal-Mart was sued 4,851 times in 2000, or about once every
2 hours, every day of the year.
>Workers make $8.23 an hour ($13,861 a year) at a Wal-Mart
compared to the amount of an average supermarket employee of $10.35.
>For every one Wal-Mart that opens, two local grocery stores
>Workers who access health care through Wal-Mart are expected
to pay a huge percentage of the costs through high deductibles,
co-pays and other out-of pocket payments.
>Wal-Mart actually encourages its workers to utilize public
assistance, costing taxpayers (including unionized grocery and
retail workers) over $420,000 a year per store.
>The Walton family is worth $102 billion.
>One percent of what a single Walton heir is worth could pay
for the health care costs of every single Wal-Mart worker.
and UFCW members will be sending a clear message to Wal-Mart:
If you want to do business in West Saint Paul do, it on our terms
by providing adequate health care coverage for your workers. We
are tired of subsidizing the cost!
will be donated to the Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition.
Protesters will also be advocating for SF 828 http://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/bin/bldbill.php?bill=S0828.1&session=ls84
which would disclose where workers accessing state aid
Information please see the following report by Good Jobs First
"DISCLOSURES OF EMPLOYERS WHOSE WORKERS AND THEIR DEPENDENTS
ARE USING STATE HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAMS"